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Ticket Scalping

Should ticket scalping be legal?

  • Yes

    Votes: 14 77.8%
  • No

    Votes: 4 22.2%

  • Total voters
    18
T

The Real McCoy

Should ticket scalping be legal? Frankly, I don't even see what the issue is. If somebody buys a ticket for an event, it then becomes THEIR property and they should be able to sell it for whatever they want. The venue and performers are getting their money and aren't affected in any way so what's the problem?
 

Thorgasm

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The Real McCoy said:
Should ticket scalping be legal? Frankly, I don't even see what the issue is. If somebody buys a ticket for an event, it then becomes THEIR property and they should be able to sell it for whatever they want. The venue and performers are getting their money and aren't affected in any way so what's the problem?
I voted yes. The only issue I can see would be a security issue. They may not know that a terrorist has a ticket due to scalping. Although, they could just pay cash for a ticket anyway.
 

Kandahar

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The only issue I can see comes from monopoly issues. If a group of people buys all (or almost all) of the available tickets from the vendor, then they can charge whatever price they want. Of course, that's not really any different from the vendor just charging that price in the first place.

I don't think it should be a crime, but the vendor should be able to refuse the sale of tickets to any person, group, or company whom they suspect of ticket-scalping.
 

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Kandahar said:
The only issue I can see comes from monopoly issues. If a group of people buys all (or almost all) of the available tickets from the vendor, then they can charge whatever price they want. Of course, that's not really any different from the vendor just charging that price in the first place.

I don't think it should be a crime, but the vendor should be able to refuse the sale of tickets to any person, group, or company whom they suspect of ticket-scalping.
I agree with the group sales issue. But voted no on the poll. Once someone buys a ticket to an event it's their property. They should be allowed to do with it whatever they please.

I buy tickets this way all the time. It used to be mainly because I didn't have the time nor the desire to sit in line all night waiting for the box office to open, hoping to get a decent seat. Now it's simply that I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to get a decent ticket from Ticketmaster on-line. I've sat at my computer many of morning waiting for 10am so I could buy a ticket only to be offered a seat somewhere in the back at the 300 level. I don't enjoy sitting so high up that the game or show is merely a rumor. So I'm willing to cough up a couple hundred bucks a ticket to sit where I can enjoy the show or game.

I think it's simply supply and demand.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Pacridge said:
I agree with the group sales issue. But voted no on the poll. Once someone buys a ticket to an event it's their property. They should be allowed to do with it whatever they please.

I buy tickets this way all the time. It used to be mainly because I didn't have the time nor the desire to sit in line all night waiting for the box office to open, hoping to get a decent seat. Now it's simply that I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to get a decent ticket from Ticketmaster on-line. I've sat at my computer many of morning waiting for 10am so I could buy a ticket only to be offered a seat somewhere in the back at the 300 level. I don't enjoy sitting so high up that the game or show is merely a rumor. So I'm willing to cough up a couple hundred bucks a ticket to sit where I can enjoy the show or game.

I think it's simply supply and demand.

So actually you meant to vote yes?
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Hmmmm....I buy a thousand seats to the next Eric Clapton concert for $200 each when they're first offered. I pay the 8.25% sales tax on them, so the cost per seat is $216.50, or $216,500 for the block.

I'll assume that I'll sell only 90% of the block. I must sell tickets for $240.56 to break even on 900 seats. I decide to price them at $275 bucks even to show a 15% profit.

I sell the full block at $275, cash.

What I didn't mention is what states outlaw "scalping". I'm not a licensed resaler, so first my customers are taking a risk that my tickets are fake. Second, and this is where the state gets unhappy. I'm not a licensed resaler so if I charge the customer sales tax, I'll be willing to put that in my pocket, too. That's why scalping is illegal most places.

Scalping leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the public, which tends to blame the concert hall owners and event promoters for the negatives of scalping. As a means of securing goodwill, promoters don't like having independents controlling their ticket sales, and as owners of the tickets, they have every right to set conditions on the sale of them, like limitiing ownership to small blocks, if they wish.

But...once a ticket is in the hands of someone else, it's their property to do with as they wish. If someone buys a pair of Clapton tickets for two bills each and someone at the gate, or over the internet, offers him and his date $500 each, it seems like a private transaction to me.

My quick reading of the California Sales Tax code tells me that such a one-time individual re-sale is not subject to sales tax, but it would be if a pattern of such sales could be determined.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=09131110689+6+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
The only issue I can see would be a security issue. They may not know that a terrorist has a ticket due to scalping.
What? I've never had anyone ask me if I'm a terrorist when buying concert tickets. :lol:
 

Stace

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I'm hesitant to vote on this, because Scarecrow Akhbar has some valid points, such as fake tickets, sales taxes, etc. However, I do think that once someone purchases a ticket, it becomes their property to do whatever they like with.
 
T

The Real McCoy

Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Hmmmm....I buy a thousand seats to the next Eric Clapton concert for $200 each when they're first offered. I pay the 8.25% sales tax on them, so the cost per seat is $216.50, or $216,500 for the block.
I think some eyebrows would be raised if somebody shells out 200 grand to buy tickets. Do vendors have limits to how many tickets an individual can buy? If they don't, they should and then there'd be no "price gouging" issues.



Scarecrow Akhbar said:
What I didn't mention is what states outlaw "scalping". I'm not a licensed resaler, so first my customers are taking a risk that my tickets are fake. Second, and this is where the state gets unhappy. I'm not a licensed resaler so if I charge the customer sales tax, I'll be willing to put that in my pocket, too. That's why scalping is illegal most places.
That brings up a separate issue that I have a real problem with: the government taxing everything and anything under the sun. I can see the issue of counterfeit tickets though.
 

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Every event I've ever tried to buy seats to through Ticketmaster there has been a per person per event ticket limit. Usually it's 4 tickets per person. Does Ticketmaster have some arrangement with some other company where they allow company "X" to buy a block of good seats to "X" event? I have no idea. I do know I buy most, not all but most, of my tickets through the same guy. He tells me he has a group of people that he buys the seats from. They each try to log on to Ticketmaster the second the event goes on sale. Some are successful, some aren't. Is he being honest with me? I, again, have no idea.

He's based in Portland, Or. But scalper's, or ticket "broker's" as they prefer to be called, have a network set up where as they can get seats pretty much in any city at any event. I've bought tickets from him to everything from the "Final Four" to Jimmy Buffett in Vegas and the Stones in Hawaii.

I have checked on E-Bay for tickets in the past and notice they impose the local laws on ticket prices. If you try to place tickets for sale on their site you'll get a notice like this:

Buying and reselling event tickets on E-Bay is 100% legal. However, some states impose limitations on resale prices for resold tickets to events located in their states. In such states, these regulations apply only to buyers and sellers located in the same state as the actual event. Fill out the form below to learn about specific state regulations.

As far as counterfeit tickets go, I'd suggest having the person selling you the tickets send you, via faxed or Jpeg, an image of the actual tickets. Get the serial number off them and call Ticketmaster. They'll be able to tell if they're valid tickets. I'd suggest telling them something like- I got these tickets from my brother in-law as a gift, they don't look right, he's such a practical joker... I'd hate to drive all the way to the event only find out he's screwing with me. Tell them something like that and they'll tell you if they're good or not. Tell them you bought them from a scalper and they'll hang up on you.
 

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The Real McCoy said:
Should ticket scalping be legal? Frankly, I don't even see what the issue is. If somebody buys a ticket for an event, it then becomes THEIR property and they should be able to sell it for whatever they want. The venue and performers are getting their money and aren't affected in any way so what's the problem?
With ownership of property there is responsibility and respect of others , including the government and other people, of course..
The venue/performers (along with the attendees) are being cheated by the ticket scalper performing a so-called service, but keeping all the profits for himself.
This is not right,IMO..
 
T

The Real McCoy

earthworm said:
With ownership of property there is responsibility and respect of others , including the government and other people, of course..
The venue/performers (along with the attendees) are being cheated by the ticket scalper performing a so-called service, but keeping all the profits for himself.
This is not right,IMO..
How are they being cheated? The scalper would have to buy the ticket first from the vendor and the venue/performers would not be affected whether the ticket was re-sold or if the original buyer used it for their own seat.
 

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The Real McCoy said:
I think some eyebrows would be raised if somebody shells out 200 grand to buy tickets. Do vendors have limits to how many tickets an individual can buy? If they don't, they should and then there'd be no "price gouging" issues.





That brings up a separate issue that I have a real problem with: the government taxing everything and anything under the sun. I can see the issue of counterfeit tickets though.
Counterfeiting tickets for concerts, plays, sports, etc.. is a BIG problem. Often times, it is up to the venue management to settle disputes when 2 different patrons have a ticket to the same seat. Who do they give it too? The one who bought from the venue itself, or the one who bought from the scalper?

Also, most promoters, at least here in PA.. have a ticket limit. I think for Ticketmaster it's 4... might be as high as 8, depending on the event. Ticketmaster has cleaned up it's act though.... Eddie Vedder made it a point to never sign on to a venue that used Ticketmaster... and they realized quick how much revenue they lost.

But at any rate.. scalping should remain illegal, I think. But then again... I look at the scalpers when I go into a venue and just laugh, because more often than not, no one buys their tickets, anyway.
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
I voted yes. The only issue I can see would be a security issue. They may not know that a terrorist has a ticket due to scalping. Although, they could just pay cash for a ticket anyway.
I cannot, for the life of me, see what security has to do with this.
I voted that it should not be legal.
It could be legal if the scalpers were to register their "business" with the state and pay taxes as other businessmen do...
When a man buys and sells , he has responsibilities to society, one of which is NOT to steal from them by overcharging.
Note too : How many scalpers pay an income tax on this so-called service.....as it is now ???
Better yet, the ticket sellers could just sell one ticket to each man..
Or, do away with the ticket and have a pay to enter system....
 

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earthworm said:
I cannot, for the life of me, see what security has to do with this.
I voted that it should not be legal.
It could be legal if the scalpers were to register their "business" with the state and pay taxes as other businessmen do...
When a man buys and sells , he has responsibilities to society, one of which is NOT to steal from them by overcharging.
Note too : How many scalpers pay an income tax on this so-called service.....as it is now ???
Better yet, the ticket sellers could just sell one ticket to each man..
Or, do away with the ticket and have a pay to enter system....
I cannot, for the life of me, see how they are "stealing by overcharging". The market sets the price. No one is forced to buy a ticket.

How many people pay taxes on their garage sales? Or selling their used car privately?

One ticket per person? Maybe for Stagfest 2006!:rofl
 

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debate_junkie said:
I look at the scalpers when I go into a venue and just laugh, because more often than not, no one buys their tickets, anyway.
:shock: What are you talking about? Ive never seen a scalper walk away without a serious profit. Think about it logically, they wouldn't do it otherwise.

3 years ago, Dave Matthews Band put on a free concert in central park. The only way to get tickets was to win them in various places in NYC. There were people all over washington square park just handing out free AOL cd's. every 4th cd had 2 tickets with it. i picked up a bunch of these and got 8 tickets.

Took 3 friends to the concert, sold the other two pairs on ebay for 175 and 200.:mrgreen: That paid for my books that semester.
 

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RightatNYU said:
Took 3 friends to the concert, sold the other two pairs on ebay for 175 and 200.:mrgreen: That paid for my books that semester.
Wow, I would only pay that much for a Pink Floyd reunion. BTW, doesn't eBay have a policy about selling tickets for more than their value?
 

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independent_thinker2002 said:
Wow, I would only pay that much for a Pink Floyd reunion. BTW, doesn't eBay have a policy about selling tickets for more than their value?
Technically, but its poorly enforced. Also, the tickets had no stated value, nor a sale price, so i was in the clear.:lol:
 

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Voted No.

Tickets aren't property. They're a certificate issued by the vendor that establishes a license to occupy a certain seat at an event.

The vendor itself may or may not care whether these licenses are transferrable, but I think the overall effect of scalpers is negative. It drives up prices of cultural events and rewards people for socially obnoxious behavior.

With due respect, RightatNYU, reselling free tickets demonstrates exactly why such behavior is odious. Those tickets were issued for free specifically so that people could enjoy the show for free-- and by receiving the tickets and reselling them, you've defied the performer's and venue's intentions of offering a free concert.

Can't say as I blame you for it-- you had more tickets than you needed and you needed the money-- but I don't think that's something that ought to be allowed.
 

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Korimyr the Rat said:
Voted No.

Tickets aren't property. They're a certificate issued by the vendor that establishes a license to occupy a certain seat at an event.

The vendor itself may or may not care whether these licenses are transferrable, but I think the overall effect of scalpers is negative. It drives up prices of cultural events and rewards people for socially obnoxious behavior.

With due respect, RightatNYU, reselling free tickets demonstrates exactly why such behavior is odious. Those tickets were issued for free specifically so that people could enjoy the show for free-- and by receiving the tickets and reselling them, you've defied the performer's and venue's intentions of offering a free concert.

Can't say as I blame you for it-- you had more tickets than you needed and you needed the money-- but I don't think that's something that ought to be allowed.
Everyone has free choice here - I don't see how it drives up the price of cultural events. If a performer chooses to sell his tickets for 10 dollars, and someone gets some tickets and sells them for 50, then that shows that the show was worth 50 to some people. The people who the show was worth 50 to were more likely to be bigger fans of the band than the people who the show was worth 10 to. This would only become a problem when the number of people buying tickets to scalp became large enough that it created a monopoly on ticket prices. Of course, if a scalper manages to sell 60% of 10 dollar tickets for 50 bucks, maybe the performer should start charging 50 himself. So I would agree that performers/ticketmaster should take it upon themselves to limit this, through not offering large group pre-sales. The idea of price controls just doesn't sit that well with me.

And as to the NYC concert, no insult is taken at all. I would just argue that I looked at it like this: Tickets for the concert were only given out in NYC, and they were given out indiscriminately. Thus, a large proportion of the people who got tickets didn't really care for dave matthews band. By taking my extra tickets and selling them (both pairs went to out of state people who im assuming drove in to see the show), I enabled people who didnt happen to live in NYC the chance to experience the show at a price that was obviously worthwhile to them, while simultaneously replacing 4 people who might not have enjoyed the concert or might not have even gone with 4 rabid dave matthews fans, thus improving the experience as a whole.

Plus, by the end, they allowed everyone in anyways. :mrgreen:
 

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RightatNYU said:
Everyone has free choice here - I don't see how it drives up the price of cultural events. If a performer chooses to sell his tickets for 10 dollars, and someone gets some tickets and sells them for 50, then that shows that the show was worth 50 to some people.
And those people paid fifty dollars for something when they could have paid ten. How is that not driving the price up?

I might point out that yes, everyone had a free choice there-- except for the folk that couldn't have afforded the fifty dollar scalper's fee. They're being denied access to something the performer and the venue wanted them to have access to-- by someone who's considerably less interested in the performance itself.

And when the scalper can't sell all of his inflated tickets, fewer people get to see the show. There's a lot of performers for whom that matters more than the ticket sales-- especially since they usually lose money on tours.

RightatNYU said:
Of course, if a scalper manages to sell 60% of 10 dollar tickets for 50 bucks, maybe the performer should start charging 50 himself.
Maybe he should, if he wants the extra money. But don't you reckon that's his prerogative?

Then again, if the ticket sellers didn't have to adjust their prices for scalper inflation, maybe they could make more money themselves while still filling seats.

RightatNYU said:
So I would agree that performers/ticketmaster should take it upon themselves to limit this, through not offering large group pre-sales. The idea of price controls just doesn't sit that well with me.
I agree with you on the first part-- it's really a better avenue of control than government regulation, and allows for more flexibility on the part of performers and ticket vendors. Assuming, of course, that performers-- who I consider the more important party-- aren't subject to monopolistic control of venues by ticket vendors. (Really a separate issue.)

As for the latter, I'm not arguing for price controls at all. Allow the performers and the vendors to set whatever prices they want; people will either pay them or not. However, I don't support allowing outside agencies to interfere with the pricing by inserting themselves as unnecessary and undesired middle-men.

RightatNYU said:
Tickets for the concert were only given out in NYC, and they were given out indiscriminately. Thus, a large proportion of the people who got tickets didn't really care for Dave Matthews Band. ... I enabled people who didnt happen to live in NYC the chance to experience the show at a price that was obviously worthwhile to them...
You make a fair point. If the tickets had been distributed in some other fashion-- such that people had to request them-- then my criticism would have been more on-point.

Your conduct was also considerably less odious than scalpers, who deliberately seek to acquire tickets-- beating the fans to them-- so that they can sell those tickets to the people who should have been able to buy them at the vendor's price.

RightatNYU said:
Plus, by the end, they allowed everyone in anyways. :mrgreen:
Well, in that case, it's obviously no harm done. :smile:
 

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Korimyr the Rat said:
And those people paid fifty dollars for something when they could have paid ten. How is that not driving the price up?

I might point out that yes, everyone had a free choice there-- except for the folk that couldn't have afforded the fifty dollar scalper's fee. They're being denied access to something the performer and the venue wanted them to have access to-- by someone who's considerably less interested in the performance itself.
These all assume that the scalper gets to the tickets before the public does, which is something that I agree is a problem. I think ticket sellers need to figure out ways to avoid scalpers from getting chunks of the tickets, if only because its taking $$ away from the ticket sellers in the first place.

And when the scalper can't sell all of his inflated tickets, fewer people get to see the show. There's a lot of performers for whom that matters more than the ticket sales-- especially since they usually lose money on tours.
I don't think that the number this happens to is very many. Most scalpers end up dropping prices as the event gets closer, so as not to miss out on possible $$. I missed out on the presale for coldplays last tour, so i ended up looking online. There were 1200 tickets for sale from various scalpers for one MSG show. I bet there weren't 50 empty seats in that arena.



Maybe he should, if he wants the extra money. But don't you reckon that's his prerogative?

Then again, if the ticket sellers didn't have to adjust their prices for scalper inflation, maybe they could make more money themselves while still filling seats.
It is a good point that it is the performers prerogative. When i thnk of concerts that were intended to allow all people to attend, and then people who are poorer are priced out by scalpers, that sucks. But I just think those are in the severe minority.

If they price the tickets at what the market would demand, then the scalpers would be out of business. If they actually priced the tickets at 50, and that was what people were willing to pay, then the scalper couldn't sell them for 100, and would be out of business.

I agree with you on the first part-- it's really a better avenue of control than government regulation, and allows for more flexibility on the part of performers and ticket vendors. Assuming, of course, that performers-- who I consider the more important party-- aren't subject to monopolistic control of venues by ticket vendors. (Really a separate issue.)

As for the latter, I'm not arguing for price controls at all. Allow the performers and the vendors to set whatever prices they want; people will either pay them or not. However, I don't support allowing outside agencies to interfere with the pricing by inserting themselves as unnecessary and undesired middle-men.
But often they are desired or necessary. For example, the decisions of myself and the others who sold our tickets were necessary to enable people who were not fortunate enough to live in downtown manhattan to go to a concert in central park. If I am not fortunate enough to get tickets to a concert in a pre-sale, a scalper is necessary to get tickets to surprise my girlfriend with.

I think that the market is actually helping to beat scalpers in some ways. As ticket scalper indexing sites are developing (www.fatlens.com), you can price compare when you buy tickets, thus saving you money and cutting the scalpers profits. I think the price difference will settle in the end as the market balances.

You make a fair point. If the tickets had been distributed in some other fashion-- such that people had to request them-- then my criticism would have been more on-point.

Your conduct was also considerably less odious than scalpers, who deliberately seek to acquire tickets-- beating the fans to them-- so that they can sell those tickets to the people who should have been able to buy them at the vendor's price.
I would definitely agree with you. I think ticketmaster has been making efforts to crack down, but i dont think they're having much effect.
 
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